Food giant on multi-million euro acquisition trail

A MULTI-MILLION euro acquisition by the food processing giant, Glanbia, is likely before the end of the year, it emerged yesterday.

The group confirmed it is actively pursuing a number of potential opportunities for business growth in the US, Europe and Africa.

Asked if further acquisitions or joint ventures are likely before the year end, group managing director John Moloney said: “as it stands, we will be disappointed if there are not.”

Chairman Tom Corcoran said much of Glanbia’s focus in preceding years was in addressing operational and performance issues.

The group’s main focus in 2003 is the implementation of its growth strategy, which will drive profits and earnings in future years. He said the group is finalising negotiations with Dairy Farmers of America and Select Milk Producers to build a $170m cheese and whey products production facility in New Mexico. This new plant will be 50% owned by Glanbia with the balance jointly owned by DFA and Select. Commissioning of the proposed new facility is expected in the second half of 2005.

Mr Corcoran said it will position the group as the number-one producer of American-type cheddar cheese in the US and simultaneously build its global position as a supplier of advanced technology whey proteins to the nutritional sector.

In February, Glanbia announced a strategic joint venture with Conaprole of Uruguay to initially establish a sales and marketing company in Mexico, serving central and south American markets.

Mr Corcoran said this is now operational and early sales performance is encouraging.

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